6th -10th May 2013 - PASSAGEMAKING - Nassau, Bahamas to Beaufort, NC, USA

Fri 10 May 2013 20:11
Following a 0540 departure from Nassau, we soon settled into life at sea again, although we and David from Blue Yonder were still on a bit of a ‘high’ from our last few days in Atlantis!   We wanted to try and make landfall in Norfolk Virginia, but within a few hours of departure, the Grib weather files were very much suggesting big squalls around Cape Hatteras at the time of our arrival, so we decided to ‘bite the bullet’ and make straight for Beaufort, North Carolina.  It took almost 36 hours and 180nm before we were able to take advantage of the Gulf Stream and then our Speed over the Ground (SOG) steadily crept up to 9.2 knots.  We did end up with some wind from the north west, making the passage up the Gulf Steam rather lumpy and as daylight approached on the 3rd day, we could see the flashes of a thunderstorm to the east, but well in the distance.   As usual, Nimue’s sails were constantly being reefed and ‘de-reefed’, but we continued to make good ground and at one point on the 4th day we reached an SOG of 10.3 knots! 
As the sun rises, flashes of lightening can be seen in the clouds
We arrived in Beaufort after 5.5 days and  covered 687 nm.  We headed for our usual anchorage in the Taylor River and found a good anchoring spot and made our usual phone call to Homeland Security to advise of our arrival in the USA.  Normally they would check us in straightaway, but we were told that as it was after 1700 on a Friday we would not be able to  check in until Monday.............you’re kidding!
David off Blue Yonder also contacted Homeland Security and he was advised the same, but he also found out that due to sequestration, all Homeland Security offices would be closed for the week-end........WHAT?
Anyway, this meant we had to stay on board for the whole weekend and wait until Monday morning to be checked in.  Of course we fully complied!?   We contacted Homeland Security again on Monday morning and two officers, wearing dark glasses came down to the dock to inspect Nimue and review our documentation.  Apart from taking a potato and agreeing I could keep some steak, which I had originally purchased in Florida, they issued another year’s cruising licence for Nimue and also stamped our passports for 8 months (we had requested an extra 2 months, as we were planning to head down to Florida after the hurricane season. As our boat insurance would not allow us to go south of Cape Hatteras before the 1st November they granted us a 2 month extension.........very nice of them to do so!).